The Fear of Not Being Loved Ruled my Life
“The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost” Anonymous
Learning self love
I came across this quote the other day and it caused a multitude of flashbacks to rush through my brain all at once. At first glance I thought “yes” this is true, but very quickly my mind was filled with all my old fears; I learned to FEAR losing love and at the same time realizing that this was not the way that I was loved at all. It was communicated to me that it didn’t matter if I was lost or if I was never to be seen again and I lived with the fear that I might find that out to be the truth.
And if that were the truth, did it mean that no one loved me?
I was a good victim. I was so compliant. I was so willing to please. In my victim mentality, my survival mode, I believed that was the only way to be loved. But in the end when I faced the truth, I found out that I wasn’t loved by the definition that I was taught love. Like this quote, I loved in fear of loss. I loved in fear… that statement alone sounds very wrong.
As I got older and sought love from outside my dysfunctional family, I believed that it was how much the object of my desire proved his need for me, his longing for me, his fear of losing me, that PROVED his love for me. This was how I had been taught love. And most of my boyfriends sought to possess me more than to love me.
My life long quest had been to be loved. I learned to pursue being deserving of love from such a young age and my seeking to be “good enough to deserve love” was met with persistent requests to try harder. I tried harder. I withdrew as a child. In my twenties, I came back, willing to try as hard as I could again, but in my early thirties, I began to withdraw again; trying hard not to give up and not realizing that I was living in a false normal system; all my trying was never going to get me anywhere. I was in my forties when I was too tired from the constant depressions that plagued me, to fight much longer. I was tired and I wanted to give in to the fact that I was never going to be valued by anyone. I wanted to run; to just disappear… It was possible that I would realize that I was not loved and I believed that no one would care if I was lost.
It was a depressing thought.
But I was tired of fighting and tired of trying harder. I decided to face what I had been trying to run from for so long. The fact that perhaps no one cared… and perhaps it was time for me to stop trying to make them see my value. Perhaps it was time for ME to see the truth.
And so I began.
The truth is that I had the wrong definition of love all along. I had been taught the definition of love the wrong way from the very beginning. Love is not facilitated through FEAR of loss. Love is not determined by “being good enough” or “not good enough” for someone else. Love is not based on performance. I was taught to love unconditionally by people who conditionally loved me. In truth, they didn’t love me at all. They owned me and they taught me that as long as I complied with their wishes, they would value me. That is not love and I was too young to pick up all the mixed messages.
The truth is that people cannot determine my value. I had to learn to determine my own value by realizing just “HOW” I had been defined as less valuable. The truth is that people do not have the right to define me as good enough or not good enough. Each human being has equal value; I just had to look at lies I believed in order to realize they were in fact LIES. I believed that people, my family and my friends could determine my value by the way they regarded me. But this isn’t a truth. I had to stop believing that people could validate me or invalidate me. The truth is that personal value is not based on what I can do for others especially when there is no mutuality involved as had been the case in my life.
Learning to love started with me, learning to love me. It was about being good enough for me. It was about accepting myself but I couldn’t do that until I faced where the “not good enough” messages came from. Little did I know that through facing this truth, I would find my value and my lost identity. Through that process I was able to embrace myself the way that I had been longing for others to embrace me.
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Exposing Truth; one snapshot at a time.